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Are supercede queens good

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Finman 

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My experience is that they are not.

they are not not from selected hives.
When bees renew their queen, she has somethig wrong.. Is is wise to use in breeding mother queen which has something wrong and even sell them!

I think that Darwin turns every time in his grave.
it seems that you are breeding national stock which have mating problems in genes.
 

jon 

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Surely bees will supersede a queen due to various reasons including old age in which case there will be nothing wrong with the genes if it was a good queen in the first place.
The other thing which a lot of people have noticed is that brand new queens which have a good brood pattern are being superseded after a few weeks.
This seems to be a fairly recent problem and you would need to talk to Roger Patterson about it as he sems to be the main person trying to highlight this.
Not all supersedure cells will make good queens but if the cell comes from a good queen its daughter may well be good.
 

Finman 

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Jon, you have too many if in your writings.

i can say about Roger, that i cannot see wisdom in his writings. He see beekeeping as a big mating problem.

i have reared queens 40 and graduated in biology and genetics in Helsinki University. i can say that it is very difficult to find a good breeding queen from 20 hives. Good layers are easy to get a non swarming stock is difficult.
If you have 200 hives, you have better material to select.

in my coutry i have not met mating proplems except for weather. We have same varroa here.
 
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oliver90owner 

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Finman,

Everyone has their own pet problem (some, likely more than one) - it is probably the trait in their bees that they least like.

The best we all can do is choose the best of what we have, if we are satisfied with the other traits, and try to improve by further selective breeding, or buy in. Sure, if you have 200 hives you have much more choice.

I like to keep my best queen for as long as possible and get several colonies from her - doesn't always work like that, but I try. Important thing is not to breed from the known poor queens, but one still cannot guarantee a queen from one's best will give good offspring. Well, OK, we know it will certainly not happen in most cases, the number being much fewer as more traits are considered.

With only a couple, or so, colonies one has a very difficult time to improve the breeding and it is probably better to buy in a queen with a good track record.

So, if I could squeeze an extra couple of queens from supercedure cells of a good old queen, I most certainly would. They are certainly better than emergency cells, which, I am quite sure some will be selecting from. My advice for Jon, if he asked, would be to get queen rearing on an organised system of grafting, or whatever, so that reliance on saving cells 'as and when' they arise does not have any opportunity to cloud judgement regarding the quality of the product. He's not asking so I'm not giving.

Regards, RAB
 

jon 

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There are a lot of "ifs" because that is the way it is in beekeping.
You can control some variables but not all - especially the weather.
You can have a queen with good genes which fails to mate properly and becomes a drone layer irrespective of whether it started from a queen cell, a supersedure cell, or a graft.
And then there is the quality of the drones it encounters.
I do agree that it is difficult to get a non swarming stock selecting from a few colonies.

Rab
I have a small number of colonies and I try and rear a few queens from my best ones each year.
Even if you graft, an individual queen will be laying eggs fertilized by many different drones so results can be variable. I have noticed that the offspring or an individual queen can vary from dark to yellow banded. The advantage is more to do with getting control of timings.

I will have a look at what I have in September and keep what I think are the best ones for next year.
Rearing queens is part of the fun of beekeeping for me and I would rather do this than buy in queens.
I have my colonies on allotments so good temperament is my number one selection criteria.
 

Finman 

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enkerro

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There are a lot of "ifs" because that is the way it is in beekeping.
.
We use to say that IF an aunt has the balls, she will be an uncle. - OR, probably she will be a duck.

'
'
.
 
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jon 

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We use to say that IF an aunt has the balls, she will be an uncle. - OR, probably she will be a duck.

'
'
.
That's genetic engineering at its best.
Did you learn that on your genetics course at Helsinki University?
 

Finman 

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That's genetic engineering at its best.
Did you learn that on your genetics course at Helsinki University?
No, because in Finland every child before shool age knows that if the aunt has the balls, she is an uncle.
 

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If it is supercedure queens you are after,why remove the cell,why not remove the queen when she is mated,and leave the mother,or daughter queen behind.
 

Finman 

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If I find that the hive supercede the queen,

* I would separate queen cells and the queen with excluder.
* then I would change the larva in queen cells from the best hive.
* I would rear 10-15 queens
 

Hivemaker. 

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Easier to graft queens from best colonys,if you want quantity..

With true supercedure you should have two queens in the hive,both laying eggs.
 

jon 

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Finman/Hivemaker.

How many queens do you need to rear per year.

I only have 8 colonies so if I get 15-20 mated I have plenty to chose from.
If I needed 200 I wouldn't be messing around removing queen cells.

I like the sound of Finman's suggestion of changing the larvae in existing queen cells.
Might be one to try next year.
 

anwe 

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I have only a few hives so dont need many Queens. Mating is difficult due to climate. plus no swarming probably due to climate and method of beekeeping so the supercedure
cells are welcome. I try to replace each Queen which has headed a good producing hive for 3 to 4 years with its daughter. I think this is wise to maintain a diverse a gene pool
 

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